What they're saying about Blackie,
The Horse Who Stood Still
"Blackie is a beautiful and touching story, told in rhyme
by Chris Cerf and Paige Peterson. Unforgettable as the tale is,
the artwork by Ms. Peterson is even more so. Long after you've
read the book, you will remember the stunning pictures, illustrating
the events of Blackie's life. This book will be admired and enjoyed
by adults and cherished by children. An instant classic!"
Joan Ganz Cooney
Co-founder of Sesame Workshop
and originator of Sesame Street
you're the horsey type, try Christopher Cerf and Paige Peterson's
inspiring work Blackie: The Horse Who Stood Still. If
you loved Ferdinand the Bull, then your kids will love Blackie
as seen by Cerf and Peterson."
New York Post
"Blackie is the heroic antidote to our frenetic society, a guide to parents who often feel they must enrich and enhance their children’s development at every turn. Blackie stands still, knows the value of observation and reflection, of being in the world, not always acting upon it. Children innately know this, too. Parents, read with your children about this horse who will help you preserve in their up-bringing a necessary environment of calm."
Owen Lewis, M.D.
"It is amazing that someone as active as Paige Peterson can so ably depict the virtues of standing still. She is without question a multi-faceted and multi-talented person. Her sweet illustrations are a pleasing complement to Chris Cerf’s presentation of a simple but meaningful story. What many readers of Blackie: The Horse Who Stood Still may not know is that our energetic Paige is always moving in pursuit of support for the Huntsman Cancer Foundation. To put it simply and meaningfully, we are in awe of her talents and creativity."
Jon M. Huntsman
Founder, Huntsman Cancer Institute
"In the season of long trips to Grandma's, new books with
animal appeal are perfect for taming the young folk. Inspired
by a lovably balky horse who was the pride of Tiburon, California,
this sweet picture book depicts stubbornness as a virtue."
Picks & Pans
"For a story about a horse that stands still, Blackie is
wonderfully moving! It's a heartwarming reminder -- to children
and adults alike -- about the preciousness of patience, dependability
and love. Christopher Cerf's wordplay is mischievous and delightful,
and Paige Peterson's paintings are simply breathtaking. I love
Actress, Author, Activist
"Oh, Blackie, my hero. You truly can stand put in afast-moving
world and still succeed. Thank you, Paige, for your tender illustrations,
and Chris, for such inspiring words. This tale will be told to
my grandchildren over and over."
"Blackie is a must for every family bookshelf. The endearing
and evocative prose by Christopher Cerf coupled with the colorful,
innovative, and unforgettable illustrations by Paige Peterson
make for an enchanting literary experience....A delight for
the young at heart of all ages....You'll love it!"
Joan Walsh Anglund
"When we bought our very first home, in Tiburon, California,
we didn't realise we'd be living across the street from a celebrity,
'Blackie. This charming book brought back wonderful memories
of him standing as a living landmark in his pasture - a beacon
signifying HOME - every day for our family. Can't wait to share
it with our grown 'kids' and our nine grandchildren, too. What
a lovely and touching gift 'Blackie' will be for all of us!!!"
Drue and Arthur Gensler
Founders of GENSLER
"Paige Peterson's paintings remind me of the joy of art. She has a wonderful sense of color and a unique vision."
U.S. NEWS and World Report
"Illustrator Paige Peterson and Sesame Street co-creator
have a message for overscheduled children: Slow down. They've
beautiful new book, Blackie, about a real horse who
liked to do...nothing."
Rush & Molloy
New York Daily News
this one doesn't bring out the Kleenex box, I don't know what
will. Not because it is sad (anyone who has had to remove a sobbing
5-year-old from a screening of Bambi learns to be cautious about
children's books where dogs, horses, or mothers die), but simply
because this true story is very touching."
The East Hampton Star
"What a sweet, soulful tome of tree flesh. Cerf's up! Turn
Winnarainbow Kids Camp Director, Woodstock Master of Ceremonies,
Seva Board Member, Ben & Jerry's ex ice cream flavor, Hippy
Icon Flower Geezer and Temple of Accumulated Error.
"Growing up on the Tiburon peninsula, Blackie the horse
was part of my community. In their delightful book, Christopher
Cerf and Paige Peterson not only recreate the true story of an
amazing animal, they capture the magic that every child felt
seeing Blackie's stoic silhouette in the pasture. It's a wonderful
story about a special horse that helped define a community."
Newscaster, CBS-5 San Francisco
"Paige Peterson's work continues and even updates a Pop-minimalist tradition that includes such practitioners as Will Barnet and Alex Katz. Her particular use of negative space, however, is personal and distinctive. It seems both to conceal and project a certain emotional content and even hint at an underlying narrative."
"Reading Blackie to their children is reason enough
for couples of all sexes to consider adoption."
"A story about a horse who likes to stand still is endearing.
That the tale could bring hundreds of children to their feet
in applause is extraordinary. When they finished reading their
new children's book, Blackie: The Horse Who Stood Still,
to 300 elementary school students in California, Christopher
Cerf and Paige Peterson received a standing ovation...The book
also touches on death, a topic not often explored in children's
literature. 'We really didn't set out to do it but when we read
in schools, kids asked so many questions about that, 'how did
he die and will he be remembered?'' said Cerf. 'He had a really
model death in some sense, [and] he had a great life and he will
be remembered forever for doing what he did.'"
"Standing still never made so much sense.The journey of
a thousand miles ends with one horse who demanded to stand still. I'll
give it a try tomorrow, but I've to run today. Oh, right, I missed
Stillness is an art cleverly celebrated by Chris and Paige
in this charming tale of determination and tenacity. A lesson
Disney Theatrical Productions
"I wish our daughter still nestled in my lap so I could
read her the inspiring story of Blackie, a horse who appeared
lazy but in fact understood why nature is to be savored and change
is sometimes to be resisted. I think I'll read it to her anyway!"
Author and journalist
extraordinary collaboration between two brilliant artists--one
with pictures and one with words--is a pleasure to read on many
levels. It's a beautiful book about a horse, but it's also a
thrilling story about the value of stillness and the wisdom of
animals. In our hurly burly world it's a wonderful thing to take
a moment to absorb Paige Petersen's beautiful paintings and the
sly sage teachings of this wonderful story. We should all stand
still sometimes, and this book shows us how--it should be required
reading for children and adults."
"What a stunning sense of composition! I love these paintings!"
"In the tradition of Ferdinand The Bull, Blackie is a sweetly
unorthodox beast. There is a swell message here, but burrowed
in as it is amongst the gorgeous illustrations and snappy text,
the lesson merely catches a ride on Blackie’s myriad other
charms. My family LOVES this book."
"Blackie is a story of a horse who spent his last years
in Tiburon. My sons are now in their 50s, and I remember driving
by Blackie almost daily with my sons, and there were many times
we stopped, got out of the car, and just stood with him in his
presence. Throughout Blackie's life he stood still. What seemed
like a disadvantage continually turned to advantage. He listened,
he watched, he dreamed, he was safe for children and adults alike.
By example, he taught peacefulness and suggested that life's
answers were not necessarily found in activity. Blackie The Horse
Who Stood Still teaches us that giving and receiving occur at
the same time, and the more we give, the more we reinforce the
reality of Loves presence in our lives. This is a book to be
read over and over again."
Gerald G. Jampolsky, M.D.
Founder, Center for Attitudinal Healing And Author
"As an elementary school student over forty years ago,
I read a poem at Blackie’s memorial. Life has brought an
array of experiences since that time—I have studied many
traditions, became a psychologist, written books, and raised
a family. And yet, as I pause to consider what to write for this
wonderful book, I realize that I needed to go no further than
Blackie’s Pasture by the bay to find the most important
formula for a meaningful life: Slow down, be still, know what
is most important, find joy and beauty in the moment. Thank you
Lee Jampolsky, Ph.D.
"An enchanting story -- its radiant, bemused wit emerges
into wisdom. The drawings are exquisite; it really is a wonderful
"BLACKIE is an equine delight...the story and the illustrations
are witty, deceptively simple, and simply beautiful."
is not just a book for kids, although they should read it or
have it read to them by anyone who cares about sprawl, overcrowding,
the environment, quality of life, sense of place and conviction.
The team of Chris Cerf and Paige Peterson has created an optimistic
handbook on how to live with change but more importantly how
to guide it.
It's a personal, beautiful book with quirky paintings and charming
text about a goofy horse who has more in common with Gandhi than
Trigger. It's about one special place but applicable to many.
It’s about doing the right thing. What a concept! Buy it,
give it, read it, keep it and read it again. Pass it on."
"Both the poetry and illustrations make this beautiful book a favorite of my grandsons and other children I have read it to here in Saudi Arabia. The story of this stubborn horse, told with such spark, makes it clear to children that you can be different from everyone else and still contribute and be loved for what you are."
Dr Sally Alturki
Educator in Saudi Arabia
"Kids will love it!!!"
"Charming. Beguiling. Magical. Touching. And, astonishingly, also true. The tale of Blackie, and the loving and lovely illustrations, make this a classic."
Alex S. Jones
"Written in joyful and irresistible rhyme, and presented
in gorgeous and vivid llustrations, Blackie is the captivating
story of a horse who teaches children and adults alike the lessons
of endurance, of adherence to one's principles, and of the steadfastness
of love. Together Paige Peterson and Chris Cerf have created
a magical, whimsical, and triumphant real-life fable--a tour
de force of the heart."
"The paintings are filled with such true joy and spirit...
and, while Blackie's tale touched me like Shel Silverstein's The
Giving Tree, it embodies an even more profound statement
about what should be of ultimate importance in our lives: contentment."
"Oh, how I love this book. And the illustrations make me
almost weepy. I can't wait to buy it for my granddaughter, Lily,
and read it to her for years. Blackie will be for Lily
what Misty of Chincoteague was for me (except Misty wasn't funny
and wacky like Blackie.)"
inventive and beautifully illustrated! The writing evokes children's
story classics of the Dr. Seuss genre. Blackie the Horse Who
Stood Still draws from the powerful tradition of real life tales
that are fanciful but true. In a world that hardly ever stands
still, the story appeals to young people's need to learn important
lessons like patience and consistency. And despite its traditional
roots, the lilt and texture of the language and illustrations
are refreshingly modern!"
Foundation Director of the Joan Ganz Cooney Center
"Paige Peterson's art is filled with the magic of light,
the colors of love, and the joy of being alive."
"Like the proverbial leaf in its fall foliage and its metaphorical
mate in the desert that encounters a gust of wind, I was "blown
away...." What a gift Paige Peterson and Christopher Cerf
have to be able to express the mind and spirit of a child's world.
They captured what had to have been the essence of Blackie's
soul and sense of dignity alongside curiosity regarding the homo
sapiens who passed his way."
John Duke Anthony, PhD.
President and CEO, National Council on U.S.-Arab Relations
"I’ve always been fascinated by the appeal, to children
of both sexes, of captivating movies and books ostensibly about
horses but really about life. Blackie advances the art
in text, illustration and empathy for its title character. Even
though my 'kids' are grown, I have a perfect new gift for my
"I just LOVE LOVE LOVE 'Blackie'! I think it's great that
it's a true story. It's quite touching. Paige Peterson's illustrations
are really wonderful–they have a naif quality that draws
you in (like Rousseau), and they are very witty as well–how
she places things or leaves things out. The text is so well done.
So many of the rhymes (and rhythms) are wonderfully playful and
just super–I particularly liked the 'Salinas/Between us'
rhyme–but there are many more that I loved. And the lines
'When you get tired of trying, I'll still be standing still'
are really superb!"
book is very sweet, a nice twist on the cowboy world. One would
never expect a passive equestrian partner. The writing is good
and the images are wonderful. I love the many styles and viewpoints.
There is a primitive freshness and spontaneity to the paintings.
The whole thing is really charming. I think it will find a broad
audience. And it deserves to."
"Blackie is indeed an inspiration to those young and old.
The lessons Blackie teaches are perhaps the most important yet
quite overlooked: the true sense of self."
"Over the years, as I’d looked at Paige Peterson's work, I was amazed. Her styles changed – radically. The only common thread was excellence. Chris Cerf and Paige Peterson collaborated on a whimsical, mostly true, rhyming story about a horse that wouldn’t play the game."
"Peterson and Cerf hit a home run with BlackieThe Horse Who Stood Still. Cerf's talent with words and Ms. Peterson's wonderful paintings make this gem of a book a must for all ages. Bravo to this talented team."
"As someone who has the every day privilege of witnessing
the magical and powerful relationship between children and horses,
I am impressed with how this book captures that spirit and translates
it into word and picture. Beautifully written and drawn...think The
Velveteen Rabbit meets Ferdinand the Bull."
Giant Steps Therapeutic Equestrian Center
"Both the story and the illustrations are enchanting. This
book is a special gift to anyone who reads it. In this hectic
world, through Blackie, Christopher Cerf and Paige Peterson have
shown us the value of love, compassion, quietude and the strength
in being oneself."
The Lee Strasberg Institute
a wonderful coming together of Chris Cerf's lilting rhythm and
rhyme and Paige Peterson's charming and touching illustrations.
This tale should appeal to people of all ages, and reminds us
once again that time passes so fast that we must force ourselves
to slow down and smell the roses when we can. Blackie is
"With Blackie, Chris Cerf and Paige Peterson have written
a beautiful book that brings a smile to my face and a tear to
my eye. And make no mistake, while it has the look of a children's
book, its message is right for all ages. I highly recommend Blackie for
young and old alike."
Headmaster, Millbrook School
"A charming children’s book that can teach us all
about the delight of simply standing still."
"A great artist it seems to me captures not just a subject but a particularly telling moment in the subject's life. As Picasso said, 'I paint to find out what I think.' Discovering what Paige Peterson thinks is always interesting indeed."
"Paige Peterson and Chris Cerf have created a heartfelt classic illustrated story about a real life horse Blackie and his lifelong career of standing still. But it is so much more than that. In its sophistication, Blackie cannot be classified as strictly a children’s book. It is funny, it is goofy, it is intelligent and entertaining and it had me in tears. The rhyming text by Cerf and Peterson and the quirky paintings by Petersen combine to create a well spun tale that appeals to all ages can and starts a conversation about commitment and convictions in a manner that kids can understand and any parent would enjoy having with their children."
"I loved the book and plan to incorporate it into my lectures as a symbol of standing still and not trying to make things happen. The illustrations are spectacular–simple, clean, but evocative."
Allan J. Hamilton, MD, FACS
Professor of Neurosurgery
"The spirit of BLACKIE is forever summoned through the
magical words of Christopher Cerf and enchanting illustrations
of Paige Peterson."
charming and sweet tale celebrates the life lived with deliberate
tranquility -- a life that resists the enticements of bustle
and business. Blackie reinforces simple and powerful
values in a book that is deepened and enriched with its marvelous
illustrations. Children of many ages will be drawn to this delightful
"What an absolutely charming yet powerful story! The cleaver
rhymes and striking simplicity of the illustrations are in perfect
harmony...hard to imagine what came first as each beautifully
compliments the other. A brilliant little book that elegantly
honors a horse who every reader will empathize with."
President, American Theater Wing
"Blackie is such a perfect interweaving of Cerf's warm,
unfussy lyricism and Peterson's simple, elegant, deep-and-wide
paintings - the warm narrative playing lightly against a backdrop
of bold colors and unexpected compositions of ears and eyes,
shoes and sky. A totally charming naivete pervades the sweetness
of the storytelling."
Actor, "A Prairie Home Companion"
"I can't wait to read this book to my children. It's wonderfully
heart-warming and lyrical, a beautifully rendered and lovingly
told story for those of us not resigned to following the pack!